A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor) are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing.Written by
The practice of ättestupa is effectively a myth. As depicted, the elderly were expected to sacrifice for the good of the village, maintaining efficiency. However the original source of the story is a 13th century Icelandic account in Gautreks saga and supposed ättestupas in Norway and Scandinavia have all been proven to have been only referred to as such by 18th and 19th century historians with no prior references to any such practices save Gautreks saga. Most serious historians consider the story a reflection of the Icelandic medieval tradition of depicting Swedes as barbarous on account of them converting to Christianity a century later than Iceland. See more »
When Dani sees grass growing out of her hand, her fingers are oddly chubby and discolored, indicating that her hand is either a prosthetic or poorly-done CGI. See more »
This high my fire. No higher. No hotter!
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The 171-minute director's cut restores nearly 24 minutes of additional scenes that were not included in the original cut. This version adds more graphic violence and extends many preexisting scenes. The biggest chunk of new footage added, as director Ari Aster acknowledges, is the subplot of Christian researching for his anthropology thesis. The newly added footage is as follows:
(1) In the party scene, Dani learns of the scheduled trip to Sweden and questions Christian's intentions. Christian gaslights (suggesting that she was not in her right state of mind) her after she had indirectly ruined the surprise of a romantic invite. The gaslight moment is repeated again in the final additional scene later after the special ceremony. This new scene also shows that he is ill-prepared, which sets up his confrontation with Mark later.
(2) In the extended the car ride to Halsingland, Dani asks Josh about the book he's reading and she's told to ask Pelle. Pelle tells her that Christian was brainwashed when he found him. This hints the characteristics of the characters throughout the film: Mark (going along for the ride); Dani (tired and depressed); Pelle (manipulative and the mastermind of the secret plan); Josh (passive); and Christian (naive).
(3) The subplot of Christian's anthropological research is put back and is evident in several scenes of him interacting with Pelle's commune. The subplot reveals two things: Pelle and his commune are well aware from the beginning that he can be easily be manipulated, proven by Maja's attempt to seduce him and his grisly fate at the end; it also reveals that his research is merely a self-serving and misguided attempt to make himself better.
(4) After the ritual suicide of the two 72-year-old natives (as to mark the end of the circle of life), Dani is invited to see a special ceremony of a young boy, dressed as tree, volunteered for another ritual. Declaring himself "what's brave is going home" the boy is about to be thrown into a body of water, which horrifies her again. At the last minute, he is let go, having proved his bravery.
(5) Immediately after the "special scene", Dani converses with Christian about what she saw. Christian, too focused on his anthropological research, gaslights her again. Soon thereafter, she asks for a sleeping pill before he is targeted by the natives.
Not sure what this is supposed to be. Its definitely not a horror movie. Its not even that scary, has a few unsettling moments but thats it. Its just weird and doesnt really have any dramatic arc or raising the tension. Basically the whole movie is a few strangers saying WTF? constantly and everyone else telling them " 'ts ok ! guys"
Also besides that, its revolves around a traumatized, annoying and totally without self respect girl that slowly starts benefiting from this weird place. Because of course, we cannot have a film these days without it being a "personal journey" of some sorts. Writers trying to be smart and "deep".
Yeah nothing beats a bizzare and crazy rituals to make you sane.
If youre expecting horror and monsters or supernatural, keep going. Its just a weird film with no real ending, resolution, interesting character or events. Albeit with nice filmography and quite good actors it has no real dramatic structure or captivating story.
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